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GSSR#36 - Typhoon! 08/30/2009

Greetings all!

I've received several emails asking about the typhoon now approaching Japan, so this is a short update. I'll post something longer later today as we get through the typhoon.



For the past two weeks, we’ve been sitting still, enjoying life, at the Yokohama Bay Marina (http://www.ybmarina.com/english/index.html), just outside Tokyo. It’s a spectacular marina, and Japan’s largest, holding 1,500 boats!




Just in front of the marina are several restaurants, and a mall, which is a shopper's paradise (Adidas, Timberland, Eddie Bauer, Lacoste, Nike, Levis, OshKosh B'Gosh , J Crew, etc.) There is also easy access to a train station which we've used to visit downtown Yokohama and Tokyo (only about 90 minutes away).

Our boats were planned to leave today, to start our 400 mile run from Yokohama Japan to Osaka.

Unfortunately, the approaching typhoon has altered our plans….

Japan is an awesome place to cruise, however, September is the wrong month to go cruising. It is the height of their typhoon season. Next year, when we return to the boats, we'll come earlier in the season. Our timing this year was set by trying to find the best weather in the Bering Sea.



All three GSSR boats spent the yesterday ‘battening down the hatches;’ preparing our boats for the storm that will hit us an hour from now. As I type this, the prediction is that we’ll take a direct hit. Luckily, it is projected to be a ‘small typhoon.’ We should ‘only’ see winds of around 60 knots with gusts to 80 knots.

We're currently seeing rain, and winds of only 10-15 knots inside the marina, but there is a strong current, and a one-foot chop, that hasn't been here before. We're rolling around quite a bit. It's a reminder that the you-know-what will hit the fan very soon now.

To be honest, I’ve never gone through a hurricane, or a typhoon (which I’m told is the same thing), so I’m not completely sure what to expect. At anchor, a few years back, we did once experience winds that gusted to 75 knots. It was a terrifying experience, as several other boats around us broke anchor and wound up on the beach.

The marina staff has been incredibly helpful. They arranged to move our boats to a more secure place, and helped us move the boats. The harbormaster dropped by the boat several times yesterday to check on us, and to let us know that six of his staff would be sleeping in the office, overnight, ready to help if needed.

Since I took the pictures above, all three boats have beefed up their lines. Unless the whole dock moves, we aren't going anywhere. If I have any worries, it would be the boats around us, some of which don't look well prepared. In a way, that is somewhat reassuring. Typhoons are a regular event here in Japan, and the marina is well protected (I hope!) If the locals aren't that worried, then we will be fine.

It's raining now, and I don't really want to get the camera wet, so no more pictures for now, but I'll try to have photos and video later today. Hopefully they won't be very exciting.

That said, for some real excitement, check out this photo:



It's a Nordhavn 57 pushing its way through the ice, up in the Northwest passage. If you haven't been following the blog, check it out, and register, at: http://northwestpassagefilm.com/arctic/ It's pretty humbling to think about what they are accomplishing!

Thank you,
Ken Williams
Nordhavn 68, Sans Souci
www.kensblog.com
Greg: It's worse than that, Jimena was headed for my house in Cabo, and my son's house, who also lives there. Jimena is a cat 4 hurricane, and a direct hit would do serious damage. I was tracking both the hurricane attacking my house in Cabo, and the typhoon coming at my boat simultaneously yesterday. A wild day.

The hurricane in Cabo now looks like it will arrive farther north, and miss my house. However, it already dumped so much rain that I received a nervous call from my son, who is worried he might lose his house. He already has water 2 inches deep throughout the house, and the rain is just starting. As far as I know, my house is fine. My son's house is new, and this is its first 'testing' from a hurricane. Mine has already been flooded a couple times, and we've figured out what needed to be done to improve drainage, and better protect the home.

Never a dull moment!

-Ken W
by Ken Williams on Aug 31, 2009, 07:11 PM EST
OOPs Tropical Storm Kevin
by Greg on Aug 31, 2009, 02:43 PM EST
It looks like both Hurricane/Typhoon Jimena and Tropical Storm are tracking towards the N62 that ran aground south of Mag bay.
by Greg on Aug 31, 2009, 02:19 PM EST